Wow … quality over quantity this time around, but excellent quality nonetheless!
Which, I suppose I should be somewhat grateful for as I’m desperately trying to catch up on my super-hero television watching. For instance, The Flash, Arrow, Supergirl and Legends of Tomorrow are all crossing over with shared episodes in a way that is very reminiscent of the cross-over issues DC Comics used to back in the 80’s. Crisis on Earth-One/Two and the third issue featuring the All-Star Squadron were some of the most memorable story-telling DC has ever produced. It’s great to see that tradition continue even though in a different medium.
Star Wars Annual #2
Annuals are always great opportunities for artists and writers to indulge in isolated one-shot stories that demonstrate what they can do with properties like the Star Wars franchise. This title is essentially a way for Marvel to print money.
However, this one failed to soar. It flew – don’t get me wrong. The Mike Mayhew cover is absolutely stunning on this book. The interior art by Emilio Laiso is fine as well, but I found the inking to be fairly thick. The story by Kelly Thompson was a fairly simple one – with the focus on new character (Pash Davane, with arms bigger than a gundark’s legs). However, for an annual, I wanted a bit more. Overall, I found the story to be fairly bland and while it was a passable book, I just didn’t find it as entertaining as the other books of this title have been.
Godzilla: Rage Across Time
This trade collection of five issues that see our favourite kaiju stomp and crush his way through various periods of history. It’s a fun romp of an adventure and definitely true to the spirit of Godzilla and a great way for IDW to showcase the stable of talent they have at their disposal. Guys like Chris Mowry, Jay Fotos. Bob Eggleton, Matt Frank and Kahlil Schweitzer get a chance to create some cool stories and demonstrate what they can do with established properties. I especially enjoyed the writing on the Greek Mythology story segment by Mowry and Schweitzer but Hugo Petrus’s art in the Medieval England issue was definitely my favourite. IDW knows how to put fun back into comics and this collection is a really good example of that mindset – and that’s why it gets my honorable mention for this week.
Batman Annual #1
Probably my favourite renewed pleasure. While I am certainly loving what Tom King is doing for this character, the credit for my renewed love of the caped crusader really has to go to Greg Capullo and Scott Snyder. They got me back into this iconic DC character but Tom King is certainly doing an excellent job of allowing me to maintain my love.
But this one gets the distinction of being the Pick of the Week. It was a real treat to not just see talented stories by King and Snyder, but also Ray Fawkes, Paul Dini, David Finch, Declan Shalvey and even Neal Adams returns for a wonderfully touching short story with Harley Quinn. It wasn’t just a collection of Batman stories – this was a holiday assortment of the cream of Batman creators. In short, this was a delightful treasury that reminded me of the type of storytelling that was usually a hallmark of this time of the year.
So while the selection is limited for this week, it’s one of quality rather than quantity. Last week I mentioned that DC has fast become my favourite publisher. It’s refreshing to see that they are taking lessons learned from the past and re-applying that same tradition in maintaining the quality of their storytelling.